Justice not being served

Justice is strange. Take, for instance, the odd case of Floyd Hall.

He is a 52-year-old guy who, with a small group of other good Samaritans, search the city’s streets for stolen vehicles and get them returned to their owners.

There a lot of stolen vehicles to search for. More than 2,000 were reported stolen in the first eight months of this year – more than 700 more than the same period last year. Floyd and his merry band have recovered more than 25 of them, he supposes.

While chasing a stolen truck, cops say, he drove 60 mph the wrong way down a one-way street with a 25 mph limit. Prosecutors say a soccer practice was in session at a nearby field. Hall previously told KTUU when the vehicle finally stopped, the driver fired several shots before fleeing.

Hall was charged with reckless driving, a misdemeanor that carries potentially a one-year jail term. Floyd was offered a 30-day sentence with 30 days suspended and a fine. He says he wants to fight the charge.

That is where it gets odd. So, the guy who chases and recovers a stolen vehicle is possibly facing jail while the guy who stole the truck and fired a gun is free. What’s wrong with this picture?

If Hall did what the police say he did, he was in the wrong. There is no doubt about that, but there was no harm, no foul. Nobody was hurt.

Charging him with a crime that could lead to a jail sentence, any jail sentence, seems overly harsh. He was trying to do the right thing. Chewing him out and handing him a speeding ticket or a citation for driving the wrong way on a one-way street would have made absolute sense, but charging him with a misdemeanor?

If the idea is to use Floyd as an object lesson to teach other stolen car chasers to stay home, that would be too bad. If it simply is a mistake, if the judicial system dropped the hammer on him a little too hard, it can be fixed.

And it should be. Justice is not being served in this case.


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